In-Person Classes Suspended; Online Course Delivery Starts March 16
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas Chancellor Joe Steinmetz reached out directly to students, faculty and staff on Thursday, March 12, with an update regarding how the coronavirus is impacting the campus community. His message to campus and other updates have been added to the university's Coronavirus Update site.
"We are suspending in-person classes effective immediately and will move to an all-online or other alternative method of course delivery starting Monday, March 16, and continuing through the remainder of the semester," Chancellor Steinmetz said.
Even though in-person classes are being suspended, this is not a campus closure. University operations will continue. Housing, dining and other services will continue to be provided. However, students may choose to return to their family residence for the remainder of the semester.
What do faculty need to do now to prepare?
- With no in-person classes on Friday, faculty members should use this time to prepare to deliver courses online starting Monday, March 16. Here are some resources to help facilitate that process:
- The university's Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support (TIPS) Center offers contingency planning guidance for faculty to help deliver content to students even when they cannot attend physical classes due to an outbreak, illness or inclement weather.
- Instructors can also request departmental workshops, one-on-one support and receive Blackboard course information by sending a request to: email@example.com.
- Instructors can also access articles, tutorials and other resources for guidance.
- The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center also provides a list of faculty resources for coping with the pandemic.
- Communicate your plans and next steps to your students as soon as possible. They will expect to hear from you.
- Also, please work with your students to help ensure that they are able to access the courses you will be delivering wherever they may be — on campus or otherwise.
What do students need to do now to prepare?
- Students should be on the lookout for communication from instructors about the logistics of the move to the online delivery of classes. Be patient as some instructors will need some time — possibly into the weekend — to test and practice before providing more finalized details ahead of Monday's switch to the online delivery of classes.
- Work with your instructors to ensure that you will have access to the class content online wherever you may be - on campus or otherwise.
- Make sure you have updated your cell phone information in UA Connect in case we need to contact you directly via text with any updates.
- The move to the online or alternate delivery of classes does not currently impact housing, dining or other services. However, while completing classes online, students may choose to return to their family residence for the remainder of the semester.
- Please continue to practice social distancing and other preventive measures moving forward, especially in places like the library, computer labs and recreational facilities.
- Information about students with clinical placements will be provided soon.
How does this impact staff members?
- Regular university operations will continue as scheduled as this is not a closure.
- At this time, the move to an all-online method of academic course delivery does not directly impact staff members other than those who will be assisting students and faculty adjust to the all-online method of course delivery.
- Please continue to practice social distancing and other preventive measures moving forward.
- If you have questions, please reach out to your supervisor.
Some individual colleges, schools and units are rescheduling or canceling some events in an abundance of caution. College, school and unit leaders are encouraged to do what they think is appropriate based on the specifics of each situation. Please check with event organizers to confirm the status of your event.
A list of KNOWN on-campus public events that have been canceled or re-scheduled at the U of A can be found on the Campus Cancellations page.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
John F. Thomas, manager of university communications
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